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November 8, 2022

Democrats Secure House Majority

DENVER, CO –  House Democrats win at least 33 seats and will be in the majority for the upcoming 74th General Assembly. 


“I’m humbled that voters continue to put their trust in Democrats to lead the Colorado House,” said House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver.  “Across the state, Democratic lawmakers and candidates prevailed on the strength of their records. Voters rewarded the majority for listening to Coloradans and doing what we said we’d do. I’m excited that we are reducing the cost of housing, making health care and prescription drugs more affordable, and saving families money by delivering universal preschool for every four-year-old in our state. Democratic lawmakers moved Colorado forward, saved people money, and protected a woman's right to choose.”


“From Fort Collins to Pueblo, voters reelected Democrats to the House because we listened to the needs of our communities and delivered,” said House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Our candidates connected with voters on key issues like reducing property taxes, increasing funding for education, and improving public safety. When the Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, we acted swiftly to secure our reproductive rights in Colorado with the Reproductive Health Equity Act. It was an honor to sponsor that law and a privilege to serve the people of our state. I know our caucus will continue to turn our values into action and move Colorado forward.” 


During the 73rd General Assembly, House Democrats responded to the most pressing needs in Colorado and delivered results that will move our state forward. Last session focused on saving Coloradans money, improving public safety, and preparing our students for success. Democrats made record investments to reduce emissions, improve our air quality, shore up our water supply, and mitigate against the increasing risk of wildfire across the state. House Democrats also safeguarded foundational rights of Coloradans - from codifying the right to an abortion in state law to ensuring our elections remain safe and secure.


With Coloradans still recovering from the disruption of the pandemic, including rising inflation and economic instability, Democrats took action to save Coloradans money. The Majority made record investments in K-12 education to put more resources into classrooms, passed critical legislation to combat the fentanyl crisis and save lives, and sent bills to the governor that will prevent crime and improve public safety.


During the 2021 session, Democrats passed historic legislation to improve Colorado’s transportation system, create the Colorado Option and Prescription Drug Affordability Board to make health care more affordable, and address climate change. Democrats passed six new laws to reduce gun violence, lowered taxes on small businesses and hardworking Coloradans and passed an economic stimulus plan that powered the Colorado Comeback. 


Major Accomplishments from the 73rd General Assembly


Reducing the Cost of Health Care and Prescription Drugs: Democrats passed landmark laws to create the Colorado Option and Prescription Drug Affordability Board while continuing to drive down the cost of insulin and ensure Coloradans receive the care they need. Last session, Democrats directed over $430 million to expand access to mental health care and substance use disorder treatment and save people money on life-saving behavioral health care. 


Protecting Reproductive Rights: In response to an imminent threat to Roe v. Wade pending at the Supreme Court, Democrats in the legislature passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which establishes the right to abortion as a fundamental right in Colorado and protects the full spectrum of reproductive health care options, including every pregnant person’s right to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy.


Investing in Public Education: From free universal preschool to significantly boosting funding for public schools, House Democrats passed critical legislation to prepare Colorado’s students to thrive. This year, Colorado schools will see over $500 more per pupil on average and substantially more funding for special education and at-risk students. Democrats created the highly successful I Matter program, which provides free counseling to any Colorado student.


Lowering Taxes on Small Businesses and Hardworking Families: House Democrats boosted tax benefits for hardworking Coloradans and parents, lowered property taxes on families and small businesses, eliminated the business personal property tax for small businesses, cut taxes on restaurants and small retailers and increased tax refunds for lower-income Coloradans through the Colorado Cashback Plan that sent tax filers checks of $750 for individual or $1,500 for joint filers this past August. 


Preventing Gun Violence and Improving Public Safety: Lawmakers passed bipartisan legislation to address Colorado’s fentanyl crisis that increased penalties on drug dealers and expanded access to treatment options. House Democrats also passed bipartisan legislation to increase funding for crime prevention, improve school safety and youth mental health, and prevent recidivism. In 2021, Democrats passed six new laws to prevent gun violence by strengthening background checks, creating the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, improving the safe storage of firearms, and mandating reporting of lost or stolen firearms. 


Addressing Climate Change and Protecting Our Air and Water: Democrats passed critical legislation to improve air quality and mandate clear climate goals in statute. Lawmakers also cracked down on toxic pollutants in our air and water.  Fare Free August improved ridership on public transit and saved Coloradans money while improving our air quality. House Democrats sponsored legislation to direct historic levels of resources to wildfire mitigation, response, and recovery efforts, including new state of the art firefighting technologies like the soon-to-be delivered Firehawk helicopter.

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